It Happened One Christmas

It Happened One Christmas is a 1977 made-for-television movie starring Marlo Thomas and Wayne Rogers.

The film, a gender-reversal remake of the classic It's a Wonderful Life, centers on Mary Bailey Hatch, a young woman who dreams of seeing the world but is forced by circumstances to remain in her small hometown as head of the family's Building & Loan business. In a moment of financial crisis, a severely depressed Mary contemplates suicide but is rescued by her guardian angel, Clara Oddbody, who shows her the positive effect she's had on everyone she's met throughout her life.

Lionel Chetwynd's teleplay, directed by Donald Wrye, varies little from the original screenplay. The supporting cast includes Orson Welles, Cloris Leachman, Doris Roberts, Christopher Guest, C. Thomas Howell, and Barney Martin.

Leachman received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Drama or Comedy Special.

Thomas served as executive producer for the project. The remake was broadcast at a time when the original film rarely was aired on television, and many viewers were unfamiliar with its source. Once the James Stewart-Donna Reed version returned to the airwaves on an annual basis, the remake slipped into obscurity.

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